Visitors can marvel at the lunar-calendar window crafted by Sister Giotto Moots. Photograph by Kate Nelson.
SISTER GIOTTO MOOTS, a nun of the Dominican Order, believed that an alley in Albuquerque’s Old Town was the center of creativity for our planet and that she could nurture a community of diversity there. In 1969, she began the nondenominational Sagrada Art School (in a building that today houses the Breaking Bad Store ABQ), and eventually a restaurant that served loaves and fishes, plus bagels and lox. In 1971, she and other nuns made adobe bricks to build a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The school’s studios and dormitory later transformed into shops and townhomes, but the Capilla de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe still draws the faithful—plus brides and grooms, who rent it for their ceremonies. Visitors marvel at the lunar-calendar window crafted by Sister Giotto, who passed away in 2018, and the six carved-wood panels bearing biblical passages like “Love me and you will earn my love.” Plein air painter Carla Forrest works in the studio that once was Sister Giotto’s. “Every now and then I see this flash go by,” she says. “It looks like a nun in a habit. I think, Maybe that’s her, checking me out.”
The Guadalupe Chapel is on Patio Escondido, at 404 San Felipe St. NW in Old Town.